It probably wasn’t an intentional dynamic in 2011’s Thor – Kenneth Branagh, it’s tempting to believe, probably saw the rivalry between Chris Hemsworth’s Thor and Tom Hiddleston’s Loki as being something more tragic and Shakespearian. The scorned second, tired of waiting takes what he believes is his – it’s the plot of Macbeth, after all.
Loki is more than just a proud figure on a tragic fall from grace; he’s a geek icon, and his army is growing day by day. Here’s why:
1. Loki’s the geek and Thor’s the Jock
This is about as profound as it gets, so you might want to skip this if you don’t fancy thinking too much. Whedon got this, but everyone else seems to have totally been taken by surprise. It’s all so obvious – pale, long dark hair, overlooked and with powers that draw from his intellectual superiority and slight of hand (in the D&D party that makes up the first third of Thor, Loki is very much the mage). Thor, meanwhile, is ruggedly handsome, blonde, strong, self-aggradinsing, incredibly dense and universally beloved.
The reason geeks love Loki so much is that Loki IS the geek, while his brother is the High School quarterback in a big Asgardian letterman jacket.
2. Nice guys finish last
There’s no getting around it, Loki is incredibly ruddy handsome, and he’s ticking a major box in Avengers Assemble.
Captain America is the superhero you’d take home to meet the parents – he’d be all polite and you could wife him knowing full well you’d stick with him forever, but you’d ultimately be rather bored. Thor is the dude you want to run away with and live in a commune for six months before you end up back home with no money, loads of bad henna tattoos and 30% less brain cells. Tony Stark is the guy who sleazes you up in an airport bar and then slips out the next day before you wake up and feel wretched about the whole thing. Hawkeye has all sorts of small man syndrome and would probably demand to know who you were with all the time (and what powers they had), and Bruce Banner, well, you wouldn’t be in love with him, but he’d be in love with you, and even though you tried to stay friends you’d catch him sniffing your hair and looking at you for too long. Let it go Bruce, we’ve all been there.
Loki, though, he’s the rock star boyfriend; the one you know is bad for you and brings out the worst in you – all drunk screaming matches in the street – and you know he’s up to no good, but as soon as he comes home from tour/world domination and flashes you that smile, all is forgotten. Oh Loki, you’ve got me wrapped around your little finger.
3. He gets the best scenery-chewing chunks of dialogue
4. We all get Loki’d eventually
5. Tom Hiddleston actually seems like a pretty goshdarn amazing human being